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row2k Starting Five: Jennifer Goldsack
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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Jennifer Goldsack, stroke seat of the USA women's lightweight 2x

1. What inspired you to go to your first rowing practice; was there anything memorable about it?

I was inspired to give rowing a go by an invitation to "Boat Club Cocktails" in my first week of my first year at university... if you tried rowing you got a free ticket to the party. Sadly, I have to confess to not remembering any details of either the practice or the party - although for entirely different reasons! Ironically it was not until two years later, during my third year at uni, that I actually started rowing serious

2. Was there a practice, race or other event when you fell in love with the sport, or when you knew you might not be too bad at rowing? When you thought you could make the national team?

The funny thing is that it is only recently that I have actually started to love the sport for what it really is - moving the boat as well as you can. I began my rowing career very much of the opinion that I lived for the challenge of pushing the physical limits as hard as possible and not breaking, both in training and in racing. I considered the technical aspect of rowing to be an inconvenience to the physical battle I seemed to enjoy the most.

However, when I started sculling with my current doubles partner, Renee Hykel, she pushed me to make the startling discovery that not only are the technical challenges not inconvenient, but they (or at least the mastering of them!) can be the most rewarding aspect of rowing. I will never be the kind of rower who is satisfied with "just" a technically tidy boat, the thrill of racing will always be my favourite part of the sport, but I feel really lucky to have such a good teammate who has helped me discover how to enjoy the sport to the full.

3. Best race/practice, worst race/practice?

I'm still holding out for my best race and practice, but I think one of the things that has allowed me to progress to this level in my career is that I do not consider that I have ever had a "worst practice". It is not that I have not had some absolutely appalling rows, but I always think that anyone can move forward following a good practice, but only some athletes can turn a disappointing workout into something that will ultimately make them faster. Rationalizing, evaluating and moving on can make even your "worst practice" help you go faster.

4. Best/Anything you've done in the sport no one knows about?

I am highly irritating and any time I do anything remotely good, or something I think is remotely amusing, I tell anyone who will listen all about it... so, to my shame, I doubt that there is anything of any slight interest that I have ever done in rowing that I haven't bored at least some people with!

5. Any/Most important advice for young rowers?

At whatever level you try and pursue this sport just remember... it is supposed to be fun!!!!

Hometown: Banstead, United Kingdom
Current Residence: Trenton, N.J.
Club Affiliation: USRowing Training Center
Began Rowing: Somerville College-Oxford
Date of Birth: 7/12/1982
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 125
High School: Nonsuch High School
Undergraduate Education: University of Oxford, 2004
Graduate Education: University of Oxford, 2005
Current Coach: Cameron Kiosoglous
Personal: Jen is a two-time U.S. National Team member and first-time Olympian...She competed in rugby at Oxford before concentrating on rowing...Jen lists her best friend, Rebecca Romero, as the most influential person in her sporting career and life...Jen raced for the British National Team in 2005 and 2006...She is engaged and getting married on January 17, 2009.


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